President Joe Biden rejects an Army investigative report detailing the many issues that occurred during the Afghanistan withdrawal, he told NBC News Thursday.
The 2,000-page report was obtained by The Washington Post through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) earlier this week. It’s the latest insight into just how unprepared the Biden administration appeared to be with regard to the Afghanistan withdrawal, and its findings were based on the sworn testimony of multiple commanders.
NBC News’ Lester Holt highlighted the report during his interview with Biden, noting that multiple military officers said “the administration ignored the handwriting on the wall” regarding the fall of Kabul and the evacuation process. Biden denied that any fraction of the report rang true to him.
“No, no,” the president insisted. “That’s not what I was told.”
Biden continued, reiterating his administration’s stance that while “there is no good time to get out,” there was no option to remain in Afghanistan. When Holt pressed the president for clarification on whether he rejects the Army investigation’s findings, Biden answered affirmatively.
“Yes, I am. I’m rejecting them,” the president declared emphatically.
The Army investigation followed the Aug. 26 suicide bombing outside of the Kabul airport. It includes previously unreported acts of violence against American personnel in Afghanistan, complaints from commanders on the ground and more. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Internal Numbers Show White House Poised To Leave Several Thousand Americans Behind Enemy Lines In Afghanistan)
In one portion of the Army investigation, an unnamed Army officer from the 10th Mountain Division described how troops were sent to the embassy in Kabul on Aug. 15 to ensure people were getting ready to evacuate. The officer alleged that some State Department workers were “intoxicated and cowering in rooms.” Others, meanwhile, acted as if nothing was wrong, moving about with “absolutely no sense of urgency or recognition of the situation,” The Post reported
The Army investigation adds onto recently reported details into just how chaotic the withdrawal from Afghanistan – an event condemned by both Republicans and Democrats – was.
Earlier in February, Axios published leaked notes made during a White House Situation Room meeting as Taliban fighters gathered outside of Kabul, Afghanistan. These notes highlighted the Biden administration’s lack of preparedness to deal with the ensuing evacuations as well.